Quebec government wants to ban camouflage pants for police
Police began wearing brightly-coloured pants in protest of pension plan reform
The Quebec government appears to have had enough with police officers wearing camouflage pants.
Municipal Affairs Minister Pierre Moreau said the government plans to introduce a bill in the National Assembly banning the brightly-coloured pants for officers on the job.
Police officers in cities across the province have been wearing camouflage pants and red baseball caps instead of their official uniform since 2014 as a way to protest the province's pension reform bill.
The issue raised the ire of Mayor Denis Coderre recently when some officers wore camouflage pants outside of the funeral of former premier Jacques Parizeau.
Moreau says the pants are not a negotiating tool, but rather an important part of the police uniform.
"Sometimes you don't know the difference between a police officer and anybody that is walking on the sidewalk," Moreau said.
"If you have to, in an emergency situation, turn back and see whether a police officer is in the vicinity, sometimes it's hard to say with what they're wearing."
Moreau said there seems to be more respect for the uniform among police forces outside of Quebec.
The head of Montreal's police officers' union, Yves Francoeur, said his members are respecting the law and not doing anything wrong.
"First, they have taken away our right to freely negotiate with the pension plan law. Now, they want to take away our only way to make ourselves heard when we have no right to strike," said Francoeur.
He believes this is an issue that is bound to end up before the courts.
Moreau said the it will be up to Public Security Minister Lise Theriault and the Liberal house leader to decide when the bill will be introduced. But he said it will be, "sooner rather than later."